SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND POLITICS IN INDIA
MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment Jan 2022
Q1. Elaborate upon the features of new social movements.
Ans:- The scholars who reject the framework of the classical or Marxist framework identify the following characteristics of the ‘new’ social movements.
1) The New Social Movements (NSM) are not directing their collective action to state power. They are concerned with individual and collective morality.
Andre Gunder Frank and Marta Fuentenes find that NSMs “ share the force of morality and a sense of (in)justice in individual motivation, and the force of social mobilisation in developing social power.
Individual membership or participation and motivation in all sorts of social movements contain a strong moral component and defensive concern with justice in the social and world order. (2002).” MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
2) The new social movements are not class–based. They are multi-class. In fact, they do not subscribe to the theory that society is divided on class line and the classes are antagonistic.
The new social movements are either ethnic or nationalist and plural. Women’s movement is an example.
Gail Omvedt treats the contemporary farmers’ movement as ‘new’ and non-class movement. It is a movement of small and poor as well as middle and rich farmers.
These movements, she argues also have support of agriculture labourers. It also has support of shopkeepers and also of high and low castes. She argues,
“ideologies of the farmers’ movement thus provided a clear challenge to Marxism that limited its analysis only to capital-labour struggles as defined within a realm of commodity exchange; they looked to a wider arena of capital accumulation and economic exploitation taking into account factors other than class defined in the narrow sense, and in many ways their thrust coincided with that of the developing environmental movements (1993).”
3) The new social movements are confined to and concern with civil society. According to the proponents of NSM “civil society is getting diminished; its social space is suffering a shrinkage and the ‘social’ of the civil society is eroded by the controlling ability of the state.
The expansion of the state, in the contemporary setting, coincides with the expansion of the market. State and market are seen as two institutions making inroads into all aspects of the citizen’s life. MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
Under the combined impact of the forces of the state and the market, society grows helpless.
Consequently, the NSMs raise the issue of the ‘self-defense’ of the community and society against the increasing expansion of the state apparatuses: agencies of surveillance and social control.(Singh 2001)”.
4) NSMs are not around economic issues of land, wages or property. They are primarily concerned with self- identity and autonomy of an individual and community against the state, market and social institutions.
Therefore, dalit movement for dignity and adivasis movement for their autonomy are treated as NSM.
5) NSMs are not concerned for the benefit of one class or group. They are concerned for the good of every one irrespective of class.
Environmental movement in that sense according to some scholars, is NSM as it does not raise the issue of a particular class. MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
6) For some NSMs are grassroots or micro movements and do not have to capture state power on their agenda.
They are democratic in their organisational structure. According to Jean Cohen NSMs raise issue which emerge from society rather than form state and economy.
They are concerned with democratisation in day to day life. They focus on communication and identity.
Q2. Discuss movements for statehood and response of the state to regional movements in India.
Ans:- From above discussion, following salient patterns of regional movements seeking separate state may be discerned:
i) In India, territory and community are symbiotically linked. A region is known by the community, which lives in it, and community is designated and characterised by the geospecifics of the given region.
The demand for separate statehood arises from the synthesis between the two – community and geography. MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
A territorial community seeks separate state in order to be the sole arbiter of its cultural setting, political making and economic wellbeing of the people and territory, which it claims as ‘homeland’.
For them the state formation means creating an institutionalpolitical space through which ‘autonomous self’ of the society is not only expressed, but preserved, protected and promoted.
ii) People having distinct socio-cultural identity, concentrated in few contiguous districts within the existing state-systems seek a separate state in order to preserve, protect and promote their identity.
It is argued that a separate state would provide them a political identity and a constitutionally documented institutional space for interest articulation and protection within the Indian nation.
It is being contested that this would enhance their capacity to bargain with the central authority (union government) as well as with other states in the overall distribution of political power and economic resources.
This, in other words, means capacity endowment, which otherwise is not possible within the existing state in which they currently are. The cases of Uttarakhand and Jharkhand movements are important pointers in this regard.
iii) Some of the above mentioned regional movements seek constitutional recognition, protection and legitimisation of their respective socio-cultural varieties by the state.
It is at this level that the demand for functional elevation of mother tongue to the level of education and administration is made. MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
This also includes inclusion of some languages in the eighth schedule of the Constitution of India. Linguistic purism is another facet of socio-cultural regionalism.
This in other words means preservation of cultural identity. Identity factor is extended to delimit state’s encroachment upon the cultural space of a particular regional community.
Cultural homogenisation by the state on the pretext of having a uniform national cultural identity is opposed.
Therefore, most of the regional movements emphasise autonomy especially in the socio-cultural realm. And for exercising autonomy of identity, a separate state is legitimately demanded.
State’s response to regional movements has been varying. We do not find any consistent policy in this regard. However, certain patterns and principles can be discerned in this regard. They are:
(i) secessionist demand could not be conceded, rather, secessionism would be suppressed by all necessary means;MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
(ii) central government would not concede those regional demands based exclusively upon religious differences; and
(iii) the demands for the creation of separate linguistic would not be conceded unless such a demand is socially wide and economically viable.
To illustrate, there could not be any singular construct or formation of the units of Indian federation. Units should be composite ones.
Such a composite unit could be formed only by mutual balancing of four principles which the States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) underlined as:
“(i) preservation and strengthening of the unity and security of India;
(ii) linguistic and cultural homogeneity;
(iii) financial, economic and administrative considerations; and
(iv) successful working of the national plan.” Other factors like `peoples’ wishes’, ‘historicity of the region’, and ‘geographical contiguity’ could have only limited, but qualificatory application while (re) drawing the boundary of the units of the Indian Union.
Thus, wishes of the people can be acceptable as one of the yardsticks of territorial readjustment only when it is objectively ascertainable, and is subjected to the overall considerations of other important factors like “human and material resources of the areas claiming statehood, the wishes of substantial minorities, the essential requirements of the Indian Constitution and the larger national interests.”
Similarly, historicity of a region can be invoked only to the extent of determining the connectedness of the people with claimed territory, but it could not be stretched to an extent as to convert them into a separate nation. MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
Though geographical contiguity is of high value in determining and devising the boundary of a state, “it [however] does not necessarily imply or involve the need for a geographical frontier….”.
Thus, while drawing the lines between two units, the primary concern as the SRC underlined should be of ensuring compactness of the units.
Within the above totalistic approach to reorganisation, the Commission strongly recommended for the creation of large states.
“This, however”, as Commission writes, “does not mean that units should be so unwieldy as to be without any intrinsic life of their own or to defeat the very purpose for which larger units are suggested, i.e., administrative efficiency and coordination of economic development and welfare activity.”MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
Thus, in the opinion of the Commission, the size principle must be balanced with viability principle.
This, in other words, means that the region seeking separate statehood must have “adequate financial resources to maintain itself and to develop its economy”.
Though, Commission upheld the principle of internal homogeneity purely from the viewpoints of smooth functioning of administration, it, nonetheless, rejected the monolingual and uni-cultural construction of state.
It is precisely the reason that it rejected the ‘homeland concept’ and ‘one language one state’ formula for the reorganisation of the units of Indian federation.
However, within the general principle of sizeable — composite state, a cultural group can have its own state when they do qualify the following two fold criteria:
“(a) the people claiming a distinctive culture must constitute a recognisable group; that is to say, it should include a number of persons sufficient by themselves to claim, conserve and develop stable traditions or the characteristics of their culture; and
(b) such cultural individuality should be capable of being expressed in terms of a defined and sizeable geographical entity.” MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
However, such a cultural basis of states’ reorganisation should not impede the inter-mingling of two cultures and overall growth of composite national culture.
What appears from above is, that every recognisable and dominant basis of states’ reorganisation must be subjected to the test of maintenance of national unity and integrity, and national security.
Q3. Evaluate the relationship between state, market and social movements.
Ans. The relationship of the social movements with the state and market can at best be seen in the following way: the state’s ability to meet the aspirations of the people and their representation in the state agencies or organs, and with the market also its ability to give the people what the state has been unable to do.
Different sections of people started questioning the model of development and nation state building within a few years of implementation of the Constitution.
The social movements related to the changing statuses of the state and market or Globalisation. Like on the statuses of the state and market, there are also opposite opinions on the relationship between the globalisation and social movements.
Some argue that the social movements, especially the new social movements along with the rise of identity movements have emerged as result of globalisation.
But when you read different units of this course you will find that there have been collective actions of different groups even before the present phase of globalistion was introduced in India in the 1990s. MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
Therefore, it is not always possible to relate the social movements to globalisation.
But if we place the issues and collective actions of various groups in the context of changes in the political economy including the globalisations, it can help us to understand the social movement better.
We can contextualise the social movements with some examples. There were movements on the ethnic, linguistic, caste and class issues.
The personalisation of the state institutions by the political executive along with the growing corruption resulted in the Nav Nirman movement in Gujarat and JP movement known as Total Revolution.
But unlike the latter decades, the mobilisation of these movements was done by the political parties, mainly the opposition or the non-Congress parties.
While the mobilisation up to the 1960s had been done mainly by the political parties or the organisations related to them, since the 1970s the different social groups came to be mobilsed by the non-party or apolitical organisations, though in the due course of time they became political. MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
Gail Omvedt terms such movements as the new social movements as they share some characteristics which are new.
The issues raised by these movements are related both to the state and market. They are related to the state as the 52 states have been held responsible for neglecting them and thus forcing them to launch social movements.
They are related to the market because of nature of their demands.
The market-related demands are: the remunerative prices of the produce of the farmers, availability of the subsidised inputs.
Some scholars like Tom Brass argue that there is nothing new in these demands; they were raised earlier also.
the intervention of the market forces, especially the multinational organisations to appropriate the natural resources like water by the soft drink making companies has caused the movements of farmers in Kerala and Rajasthan against the usage of the ground water.
Retrenchment of workers in several public sector undertakings, following their privatisation or closure, increase in the FDI in the Insurance and Telecome Companies has caused resentment in the working classes and the government employees.
These, however, have not resulted in the sustained collective action.
From the 1990s onwards the issue of reservation in the private sector has also been added to the agenda of Dalit leaders and political organisations.
They apprehend that privatisation as a part of the globalisation will result in the reduction of the government jobs. This will harm the cause of social justice.
They argue that in the light of the shrinkage of government jobs following the privatisation, reservation should be provided to dalits in the private sector.
This demand is, however, resented by the representatives of the market or the industrialists. But again, this issue has not resulted in a sustained collective action of dalits.
Q6. a) Bodos of Assam
Ans:- The tribals of Assam – Bodos, Karbis and Adivasis have been involved in collective ethnic mobilisation since 1980s. The Bodos and Karbis are demanding creation of a separate state respectively from within the present Assam.
The Bodos and Karbis are the indigenous tribes inhabiting their respective habitats. The former are found in lower Assam districts like Kokhrajhar, and Karbis inhabit Karbi Anlong district of the state.
The Adivasis consist of tribes like Oraons and Santhals who mainly immigrated to the state during the colonial periodMPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
As tea plantation labourers principally from Orissa, Bihar and Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Apart from working as plantation labourers, they also cultivated land as poor peasants.
The Adivasis demand protection of their rights in terms of reservation in government jobs, protection from the dominant ethnic tribes as there have been several instances of violent ethnic riots between the Bodos and the Adivasis.
The tribals of Assam participated in the six year long Assam agitation led by the All Assam Students Union (AASU) from 1989 to 1985.
The movement which was directed against the foreigners united major communities of Assam — tribals and non-tribal Assamese, on the common perception they shared common experience in terms of their belonging to a backward and discriminated state, facing the challenge of the foreign infiltration, especially from Bangladesh and Assam.
In the course of time, however, the differences between the Bengalis who had been living in the state since the 19th century and were the citizens of the country and the Bangladeshi immigrants got blurred. MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
Led mainly by the students and the middle classes, the movement had become violent on a number of occasions.
But as soon as AASU transformed itself into a political party – the Assam Gana Parishad (AGP) formed the government following its victory in the 1985 assembly elections,
the tribes like Bodos and Karbis which had participated in the AASU agitation started agitation for creation of their separate states.
They felt that the AASU movement was led by the dominant communities of Assam utilised the support of the smaller tribes like them.
b) The Left and women’s movements
Ans. The women’s movement in India has a long and rich history in which millions of ordinary women live, work, and struggle to survive in order to remake their family, home, and social lives.
Whether fighting for safe contraception, literacy, water, and electricity or resisting sexual harassment, a vibrant and active women’s movement is thriving in many parts of India today. MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
The communist parties, since 1950s, not only provided women leadership but also kept the women’s question in the centre of political discussion.
However, with the split in the communist movements in 1964 and emergence of many new voices within the left movement which questioned old assumptions of the Marxist parties, new ideas and organisational principles to articulate demands of communities and groups began to emerge.
The Shahada movement, in Dhulia district of Maharastra was one such movement. The exploitation of the local Bhil tribal landless labourers by the non–tribal local landowners was the key issue in this.
To add to the woes of the tribals came the successive drought and famine in Maharastra. Different exploitative practices of the landowners and the moneylenders pushed the tribals to take extreme steps of protest.
Though the movement had its origin in the late sixties through the traditional folk ways, singing bhajans etc., the seventies saw a complete metamorphosis when the newly inspired left leadership joined the movement and Bhil women were mobilised gradually and in large number. MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
However, in the course of the movement it was realised that the issues that were central to women in this area was not exactly what the organisation had initially thought out as such.
For example, after the agitation began in Shahada movement it was realised that most of the women were landless wage earners and the demand for higher wages would address the women’s issue more directly.
The movement gradually shifted to cover issues such as higher wages and antialcoholism because it was found that the husband’s habit of having liquor eats into the domestic economy and women had to struggle more to keep the household going.
Alcoholism also led to regular wife beating. Issues such as these which earlier were not part of the concerns of the movement came to be realised as intimate reality of the women’s life and were taken up.
Q7 a) Fisher Floks’ movement in Kerala
Ans:- The first major organised movement of the fisher folks’ in Kerala was in the form of protest against the introduction of trawlers, which took place in the late 1970s.
This was consequential to the changes which were a result of the intervention in the early 1960s of the “non-fishermen” investors in the fisheries economy.
Shrimp, of which Kerala is among the richest producer, has traditionally been consumed in the South-East Asian countries rather than in Kerala.
Demand for shrimp increased in the international market, especially in the USA, in the early 1960s. In this context a fisheries aid project aided by the Norwegian Government popularised freezing technology and a small variety of trawlers.
This led to the entry of the non-fishermen traders in the fisheries, whose prime motive was to earn profit. It also resulted in the proliferation of freezing technology and trawlers.
The non-fishermen investors expanded the area of fishing from deep to shallow water. Their entry into the shallow water brought the fisher folks and the profit-making investors into direct competition. MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
Faced with their extinction from fishing in the shallow water and unable to do so in the deep water, the fisher folks protested.
During the 1970s there were several instances of localised riots/protests of the fisher folks of Kerala. By the end of the 1970s their protest took an organised form.
The organisation which organised the fisher folks in their protest was Kerala Swatantra Matsaya Thozhilali Federation (KSMTF) or Kerala Independent Fisher Workers’ Federation.
The leadership to the KSMTF was provided by “A small but influential minority of community organisers, radical Christian clergy and nuns and social scientists”.
The KSMTE had units at village and district levels with active cadres. The fisher folks’ agitations took the form of rallies, processions, demonstration, hunger strikes and dharnas in the district headquarters and outside secretariat in Trivendrum.
They also resorted to lobbying The agitators also damaged the trawlers, which resulted in police firing and lathi charge on them.MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
b) Narmada Bachao Andolan
Ans:- Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that mobilised tribal people, adivasis, farmers, environmentalists and human rights activists against the Sardar Sarovar Dam being built across the Narmada river, Gujarat, India.
Their mode of campaign includes hunger strikes and garnering support from noted film and art personalities (notably Bollywood film actor Aamir Khan).
Narmada Bachao Andolan, together with its leading spokespersons Medha Patkar and Baba Amte, were the 1991 recipient of the Right Livelihood Award.
Post-1947, investigations were carried out to evaluate mechanisms in utilizing water from the Narmada river, which flows into the Arabian Sea after passing through the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
Due to inter-state differences in implementing schemes and sharing of water, the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal was constituted by the Government of India on October 6, 1969 to adjudicate over the water disputes.
This Tribunal investigated the matters referred to it and responded after more than 10 years. On December 12, 1979, the decision as given by the Tribunal, with all the parties at dispute binding to it, was released by the Indian Government.
As per the Tribunal’s decision, 30 major, 135 medium, and 3000 small dams, were granted approval for construction including raising the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam.
In 1985, after hearing about the Sardar Sarovar dam, Medha Patkar and her colleagues visited the project site and noticed the project work being shelved due to an order by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.
The reasons for this were cited as “nonfulfillment of basic environmental conditions and the lack of completion of crucial studies and plans”. MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
What she noticed was that the people who were going to be affected were given no information, but for the offer for rehabilitation.
Due to this, the villagers had many questions right from why their permission was not taken to whether a good assessment on the ensuing destruction was taken.
Furthermore, the officials related to the project had no answers to their questions. While World Bank, the financing agency for this project, came into the picture, Patkar approached the Ministry of Environment to seek clarifications.
She realized, after seeking answers from the ministry, that the project was not sanctioned at all, and wondered as to how funds were even sanctioned by the World Bank.
After several studies, they realized that the officials had overlooked the post-project problems. MPSE 7 Free Solved Assignment
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